I was delighted to get an email from the Department of Veterans Affairs the other day, which included photographs from our HeroVet Award presentation to Dr. Linda Spoonster Schwartz in June. Linda was an easy choice for a HeroVet Award, even before she was nominated for her new position as assistant secretary for policy and planning at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Linda has spent 30 years serving our veterans and has done so as a disabled veteran herself. She suffered decompression sickness that led to her medical discharge from the Air Force. Looking back, she calls the experience a “boot camp” for her new role with the VA, where she started working in the 1980s.
Linda eventually took on the role of commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs in 2003. There, she worked tirelessly to improve veterans’ benefits in our home state and assisted me in developing the Veterans Advantage Scholarship – a statewide program funded by a public-private partnership and awarded to deserving veterans.
We are tremendously grateful for her support, and once again I’d like to offer our congratulations on her new appointment in Washington D.C. Linda knows both what it’s like to be cared for and to care for others in the VA, and brings that valuable perspective and a strong sense of optimism to her leadership role in the department.